A Tougher Nutt to Crack On Home Field

A preview of Auburn's football road trip to Arkansas is featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn will be trying to go above the .500 mark in football games played at Razorback Stadium when the Tigers return to action on Saturday evening in an SEC West showdown at Arkansas.

Going into the 2005 season, the Razorbacks and Tennessee had the most home wins of any SEC team during the past seven years during Coach Houston Nutt's tenure at Arkansas. Nutt has not had nearly as much success in road games, going 13-20 in those contests and 2-4 in bowl games. At home he is 21-9 in Fayetteville and 18-1 in Little Rock.

Saturday's game will be the seventh all-time for Auburn in Fayetteville. The two teams did not play there until 1993, the second year that Arkansas was a member of the SEC.

The Tigers are 3-3 all-time in Fayetteville and Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville has a 3-3 record at AU vs. his home state team. Tuberville is 1-2 in games played in Arkansas as coach of the Tigers and 4-6 in all games vs. the Razorbacks including his four seasons at Ole Miss.

The Razorbacks are 1-1 this year at their 72,000-seat on-campus stadium, winning easily vs. Southwest Missouri State and being surprised by Vanderbilt. Their other home game was downstate in the capitol city as they had no trouble in taking out Louisiana-Monroe by a 44-15 score on Saturday night at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

"It's hard to play on the road in this league," Tuberville says. "It is tough. You are fighting a lot of different scenarios." He says a key for Auburn to be successful as the Tigers try to improve to 3-0 in the SEC is to keep the concentration level high for four quarters and the mistake level low.

Razorback Stadium is shown during the addition that brought capacity to 72,000.

Razorback Stadium

Tuberville notes that there is a lot of passion for football in Fayetteville and across the state of Arkansas with the Razorbacks being the only team that is loved throughout the state. "Me growing up over there, I know they have a tremendous tradition," he says. "Coach (Frank) Broyles in his years won a lot of conference championships and one or two national championships (seven Southwest Conference titles, one national title).

"There is a lot of pride in that state because there are no pro sports," Tuberville adds. "There are 2 1/2 million people and everybody, in some form or fashion, has something to do with Arkansas football or basketball.

"Basketball over the years, when I was growing up, they didn't win any games and then Eddie Sutton came in and got it going and I think that has helped football. It has helped all of their facilities. It has kind of put it to another level."

Since taking over as head coach at Arkansas in 1998, Nutt has posted a 55-36 record. Prior to that he was 31-16 at Murray State and 5-6 in 1997 at Boise State.

Nutt says, "Our home record is as good as anybody's in the SEC. I think if we win just one of these big ones here, we will get on a roll again and get this thing going."

Kickoff for Saturday's game is at 6 p.m. CST and there is no network television coverage. Broyles, who is in his 33-year as athletic director of the Razorbacks, is not allowing the Auburn Network to televise the game on a pay per view basis despite repeated efforts by the network to get him to reconsider his stand.


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